MicroRNAs(miRNAs) are a group of endogenously expressed 20~23 nt small noncoding RNAs, which can directly regulate mRNA stability or translation in a sequence specific manner by incomplete base pairing at the 3’UTR of target mRNA, or indirectly affect transcriptional network by regulating transcription factors. As key regulators of gene expression, miRNAs are involved in the control of diverse developmental and physiological processes, including embryogenesis, differentiation, developmental timing, organogenesis, growth control, and programmed cell death. Aberrant miRNA expression profiles have been observed in many pathological conditions, including cancers, psychiatric diseases, virus infection, etc. However, the underlying mechanisms have been difficult to study in part due to the cellular heterogeneity of complex tissue.
To systematically analyze miRNA expression in complex tissue, we present here a novel miRNA tagging and Affinity Purification method, miRAP, which can be applied to genetically defined cell types in any complex tissues in mice. This method is based on the fact that mature miRNAs are incorporated into RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC), in which the Argonaute protein AGO2 directly binds miRNAs and their mRNA targets. We demonstrate that epitope tagging of AGO2 protein allows direct purification of miRNAs from tissue homogenates using antibodies against the engineered molecular tag. We further established a Cre-loxP binary expression system to deliver epitope-tagged AGO2 (tAGO2) to genetically defined cell types.
Thanks for your further question/comment. It has been sent to the author(s) of this protocol. You will receive a notification once your question/comment is addressed again by the author(s).
Meanwhile, it would be great if you could help us to spread the word about Bio-protocol.